Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 5 (August 1, 1934)

Home Nursing. Temperature Taking

Home Nursing. Temperature Taking.

It is almost a necessity that every mother should possess and be able to use a clinical thermometer. This registers as a rule from 95 degrees to 110. Between the figures are black lines indicating intermediate degrees of temperatures, and between these are shorter lines dividing each degree into decimal parts, or tenths of a degree Normal temperature is 98.4, and this is marked on the thermometer by an arrow.

A clinical thermometer is self-registering; that is, the mercury stays at the height to which it ascends until forcibly shaken down. There is a knack in doing this. A thermometer is easily broken, so care should be taken that it does not knock against anything. To shake the mercury, hold the thermometer firmly between the thumb and the first and second fingers of the right hand, with the bulb pointing downwards, then flex the hand somewhat and give it a quick, sharp jerk. If necessary, repeat this several time until the top of the mercury is well below the normal mark, but not below 95.

In the cases of adults the temperature is usually taken in the mouth, the thermometer being placed under the tongue and the lips closed firmly over it. With children it may be taken under the arm or in the groin, the bulb being held close to the body. It is necessary to leave the thermometer for a longer time than when it is inserted in the mouth. Some thermometers are marked “½ minute,” others “1 minute.” If there are no markings the thermometer must be left in position at least three minutes. A mouth-temperature must not be taken within ten minutes of the time that the patient page 44 page 45 has had anything hot or cold in the mouth.

After taking the temperature the thermometer should be carefully read and a note made of it. It should then be washed in cold water, and dried. When the temperature is being taken frequently, or in infectious cases, the thermometer should be kept standing in a glass containing a weak solution of disinfectant. A small piece of cotton wool should be placed at the bottom of the glass. Stand the glass on a small plate and have a piece of cotton wool to wipe the thermometer before using it again. When the temperature has to be taken several times during the day, a record should be kept either on a chart (which can be bought at any chemist) or on a piece of paper. Make a note of the temperature and the time it was taken, and never rely on your memory.